Canadian policies favor 29 in-demand jobs
By Wilson Bailon
First Posted 10:01:00 07/11/2010
Filed Under: Overseas Employment, Americas – Canada
VANCOUVER, Canada—There are about half a million Filipino immigrants in Canada, most of them living in the big cities of Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, and Montreal.
In 2008, the Philippines outpaced China and India as the top source country for permanent residents and foreign workers combined. That year, 69,893 Filipinos—24,887 permanent residents and 45,006 temporary workers—entered Canada.
The trend will likely continue in the foreseeable future as Canada reshapes its immigration policy to put a premium on quality skilled workers over other entrants. Thus, in 2008, Canadian policy-makers decided to fast-track the entry of so-called economic-class immigrants. The aim is to attract highly-skilled newcomers to man the computers, build skyscrapers, and care for an aging populace.
This aggressive immigration policy has greatly enhanced the chances of Filipino immigrant applicants. It has also reduced the processing time from about seven years to seven months.
Under revised regulations governing the Federal Skilled Worker Program starting June this year, only those who belong to one of the 29 in-demand occupations identified by the government are eligible to apply for permanent residence.
The 29 in-demand occupations are:
- Restaurant and food service managers;
- primary production managers (except agriculture);
- professional occupations in business services to management;
- insurance adjusters and claims examiners;
- biologists and related scientists;
- Specialist physicians;
- general practitioners and family physicians;
- registered nurses;
- medical radiation technologists;
- dental hygienists and dental therapists;
- licensed practical nurses;
- social workers;
- contractors and supervisors in carpentry trades;
- electricians (except industrial and power system);
- industrial electricians;
- welders and related machine operators;
- heavy-duty equipment mechanics;
- crane operators;
- drillers and blasters—surface mining,
- quarrying, and construction supervisors,
- oil and gas drilling and service.
Applicants are also assessed based on a set of criteria which include work experience, education, age, proficiency in English or French, and adaptability.
Under this selection process, immigrants from the Philippines have more than a fair chance of qualifying. For one, the country has an oversupply of skilled workers in many of the listed occupations. Filipinos also score high in English language proficiency.
According to recent government statistics, the Philippines has become the leading source of skilled workers (including temporary workers) in the past few years, followed by China and India.
Under Canadian immigration laws, citizens and permanent residents may sponsor their spouses, dependent children, parents, and grandparents to join them here.
A longer route
Skilled workers who do not fall under any of the in-demand occupations may still enter Canada and eventually become permanent residents by going through the longer route of becoming a temporary worker first.
Temporary foreign workers are constantly needed to fill certain job vacancies in different Canadian provinces, ranging from caregivers or nannies and fast-food attendants to power lines installers and hotel housekeeping staff.
But many of these jobs are classified as low-skilled and workers in this category are not eligible to apply for permanent residence. Only two kinds of temporary workers are eligible: Those who have job offers for a full-time position in a managerial, professional, or technical capacity for an indeterminate period, and those who are live-in caregivers with at least two years of work experience here.
The writer is a certified Canadian immigration consultant. He can be reached at email@example.com.